Manage your debt effectively

Effectively managing your debt can help you pay off your debt sooner, save money, and reduce stress.

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While the prospect of making changes to your situation can seem daunting, it can be worth reviewing your situation and putting measures and changes in place to help manage your debt.

Remember, when it comes to managing your debt, you are not alone. Whether you’re a current Heritage customer, or a customer looking for change, our specialist lenders and financial planners are here to help.

Not ready to talk right now? We’ve put some information together to help you get started with managing your debt more effectively.

Commit to a regular budget review

By reviewing your budget, including all debts and how much each is costing you, you will get an idea of exactly where your money is going. Review all financial products and understand how much these are costing you as part of this process. This is a good basis for then setting realistic goals and expectations for your finances. 

You could explore setting long-term and short-term goals for your finances. A short-term goal could be to research options to consolidate your debt, helping you to pay it off sooner. A long-term goal could be to pay off certain debts before purchasing a new big-ticket item. 

A regular review of your budget can help you feel more in control of your finances, and improve your financial position.

Simple changes you can make now

Here are some simple changes to consider making now to help you reduce your debt sooner, and feel more in control.

  • Increase your repayments
  • Make additional repayments
  • Automate your repayments
Understand how some debt can help you financially

By selecting appropriate products, you may be able to use debt to help you get ahead financially. For example, by using a credit card interest-free period, you could keep your savings in your account longer – helping to earn interest, or offset against a bigger debt, such as a home loan.

You could also consider a balance transfer, and take advantage of low or no interest rates for a promotional period. 

Credit cards do have many benefits, particularly if you pay your balance down each month. However, if you’re feeling like a credit card may not be the best fit for you, you could consider a personal loan. A personal loan allows you to budget for fixed monthly repayments, and you’ll most likely be charged a lower interest rate than you would on a credit card, helping to repay your debt sooner.

Remember, it’s important to understand interest and fees associated with a product before you decide whether it will benefit you financially. If you’re still unsure talk to a trusted lender.
Prioritise your debts

Once you have reviewed your debts, it’s time to prioritise which debts to pay off first. It makes sense to prioritise the debts with higher interest.
You could also consider consolidating high interest debts into one debt, with the aim to pay off the debt sooner, and reduce the stress associated with managing multiple debts.
balance transfer works if you are wanting to consolidate one or a number of cards to a new bank, and you are reasonably confident you can repay the balance transfer within the promotional period.
If you have other loans, such as a personal loan, or don’t believe a balance transfer will be the best fit, there are other options, such as a debt consolidation personal loan. Bridges Financial Planner, Kim Hope says that by simplifying your situation you may feel a greater sense of control over your finances. 
Be an interest rate expert

Keeping your finger on the pulse when it comes to changes in interest rates and understanding how interest rates work will help you to become an interest rates expert. Switching your loans to take advantage of better rates could work towards saving you money, and helping you pay off your debt sooner.
Seek help from a lender you trust

Talk to a lender about your situation. Our specialist lenders are ready to help you find ways to consolidate your debt and work towards paying it off sooner.